I write, therefore I am: A report

– Anil Kumar Nidhi

I write, therefore I am is a modified version of French philosopher, mathematician and writer Descartes who holds the views, “I think, therefore I am”

On 24th August, 2012, Nepal English Language Teachers’ Association (NELTA) Rautahat organized a One-Day Training Program on “I write, therefore I am” at the premises of Madhya Rautahat Multiple Campus, Garuda. The program was organized with a view to empower the branch members with professional skills for writing journal articles at large and for its annual journal ‘The ELT Issues’. The theme of the training facilitated by Mr. Sajan Kumar Karna was “Write to grow.”

The inaugural program started with the flames of the candles kindled by the Chief Guest Mr. Yogendra Prasad Yadav, the facilitator Mr. Sajan Kumar Karna, NELTA Rautahat Chair Mr. Anil Kumar Nidhi and other guests. The children of Mid-Rautahat English School, Garuda chanted the national anthem accompanied by the participants of the training in a chorus.

Felicitation
In the meantime during the inaugural ceremony of the training, NELTA Rautahat felicitated Mr. Praveen Kumar Yadav for his sincere contributions in NELTA Branch formation in the district and Miss Sonu Silwal who stood the district topper in the School Leaving Certificate (SLC) Examination 2012. On the same event, Moonlight Academy Chandranigahpur was offered with the letter of appreciation for collaborating with NELTA to organize Two-day ELT Training for English Teachers of All Levels facilitated by Mr. Kamal Poudel, General Secretary of NELTA Central Committee at Chandranigahpur, Rautahat on June 29-30, 2012.

‘I write, therefore I am’

Mr. Karna had a discussion with the participants over the following key points during his facilitation;
 Write but why?
 Write but when?
 Write but to whom?
 Write but what does it mean to write?
 Write but where?
 Write but how?

Write but why?
In the beginning of the training, he asked the participant teachers why they would like to write. Some of their answers in their own words are as follows;
– I write because I am asked to write
– I find joy in writing
– It makes ideas wider and easily available
– It popularizes me
– I contribute while I write
– I express myself in writing
– It gives me a space in the world I live
– I grow while I write
– I exercise democracy while I write

Write but when ?
During the discussion with the participants on write but when, they came up with following situation, time and context when people generally write.
– When ideas start overflowing your head or heart
– When you want to change the world you work in
– When you are not happy with certain systems
– When you like to propose certain changes
– When you have new experiences and you would like to share
– When you think it is important to critique against certain practices
– When you face some crisis in your teaching
– When you have better ideas to address the issues, etc.

Write but to whom?
When discussed over ‘write but to whom’, the participants responded with the following target groups, to whom authors suppose to write,
– Audience
– Teachers
– Colleagues
– Professors/lecturers/teachers
– Teachers in making
– Administrators/supervisors
– Intellectuals /educationists/curriculum framers

Write but what?
The following contents that the participants write were extracted from the discussion in participatory way,
– Poems
– Stories-success stories
– Essays(articles)
– Short articles (2000 words)
– Long articles (5000 words)
– Reflective articles
– Insightful articles
– Travelogue
– Memoir
– Lesson plans
– Book reviews
– Article reviews
– Interviews
– Experiences
– Comments, etc.

Write but what does it mean to write?
As a result of discussion, here are the things that writing meant to the participants of the training.
– Putting down your original thoughts/ideas
– Putting down your gained experiences
– Putting down your new learning
– Putting down things that are relevant
– Putting down things that benefit the larger community
– Putting down things that help transformation
– Putting down things to initiate discussion
– Putting down things that have pedagogical implications

Write but where?
Mr Karna concluded by mentioning following forums where the participants could write.
– Blogs
– NELTA Choutari
– Journals
– Journal of NELTA
– Journals and newsletters of different NELTA branches
– Regional journals
– ELT journals such as
– ELT Journal,
– English Teaching Forum
– Asian EFL Journal, etc.

Write but how?
During the training the participants were engaged with following strategies in order to write academically.
– Read in order to write
– Follow the general format (Title – Abstract -Introduction – Body – sub titles – Conclusion & References)
– Write the rough draft of the article
– Proofread the article
– Rewrite the article as often as it takes
– Submit the completed article.
– Follow the editors
– Follow the reviewers
– Resubmit the article

The facilitator facilitated that a good paragraph must contain a topic sentence (Introduction), body (supporting details) and conclusion (a transitional sentence to the paragraph that follows). He added that the good paragraph always maintain Unity (state the main idea of the paragraph in a clearly constructed topic sentence and make sure each sentence is related to the central thought), Coherence (arrange ideas in a clear logical order and provide appropriate transitions to the subsequent paragraph and adequate development (develop the paragraph with specific details and examples.)

Conclusion

Mr. Karna concluded the training session with some remarkable suggestions that were helpful in preparing articles for publication. He suggested the participants to avoid plagiarism, i.e. the act of academic dishonesty such as copying and pasting others’ sentences from books, paraphrasing others’ ideas and sentences and claiming them to be our own and summarizing in our own words without citing references.

The training programme was very important for NELTA Rautahat since it dug out wonderful opportunity to empower the branch members so that they could contribute with their articles for the upcoming second volume of The ELT Issues, journal of NELTA Rautahat. Altogether there were thirty-five members of NELTA including the potential students who could write the articles.

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